Scientific Name: Gallinago megala
Malay Name: Berkik Siberia Selatan
Chinese Name: 大沙锥
Breeds in south-central Siberia and northern Mongolia; a separate disjunct population breeds in Ussuriland, in the Russian far east. Winters in parts of southern and eastern China, the Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia, and northern Australia.
Size: 27-29 cm
The rarest of three Gallinago snipes in Singapore, but possibly overlooked due to difficulty in separation from Pin-tailed. From Common Snipe, most obviously differentiated by a lack of clear white trailing edge to the secondaries, shorter bill and larger-headed appearance (see that species for more differences). Apart from a series of overlapping and weakly defined separation features, only truly differentiable from Pin-tailed Snipe with a clear view of the spread tail (or measurements in the hand). On this species, only the outermost pair of tail feathers are narrow (varying from 2 to 4 mm wide), while the rest gradually increase in width towards the central feathers (giving the impression of at least two intermediate-width tail feathers outside the central few, while Pin-tailed shows one intermediate-width feather between the central tail feathers and the six to nine pin-like feathers on the outertail).
Habitat: Damp grasslands, edges of waterbodies, and muddy freshwater marshes.
Behaviour/Ecology: Flushed Swinhoe's Snipes are often silent. A snipe that is silent when flushed is more likely Swinhoe's than Pin-tailed, but this is only suggestive. Vocal differences between the two species are poorly understood and more study may reveal that differentiation by flight calls is possible.
Local Status: Rare migrant
Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)
Location: Any area of suitable habitat, such as Neo Tiew Harvest Lane and Lim Chu Kang Lane 3.
BirdLife International. (2016). Gallinago megala. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Downloaded on 2 September 2021
Leader, P. J., & Carey, G. J. (2003). Identification of Pintail Snipe and Swinhoe’s Snipe. British Birds, 96, 178–198.
Robson, C. (2008). A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers.
Bakewell, D. (2014). Keep Calm and Study Snipes! Part 2 [web log]. Retrieved September 19, 2021, from https://digdeep1962.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/keep-calm-and-study-snipes-part-2/.